||This article needs to be updated. (March 2015)|
|Location||Valdosta, Georgia, United States|
|Owner||Herschend Family Entertainment|
|Operating season||Mid-March through December|
|Area||166 acres (0.67 km2)|
Wild Adventures is a zoological theme park 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Valdosta, Georgia, United States. It is owned by Herschend Family Entertainment. The park features rides and attractions, including eight roller coasters, exotic animals, shows, Splash Island water park and concerts from country, pop, rock, Christian, and oldies superstars. The park is located just off interstate 75.
Kent Buescher, founder of Wild Adventures, started the park with his wife, Dawn, on a plot of farm land outside of Valdosta, Georgia in 1996 for around $10 million. Wild Adventures started out as a small petting zoo (Liberty Farms) D&L. The park is home to eight roller coasters and numerous flat rides. The rides were initially added to the park in 1998 and has since rapidly grown. Splash Island, the park's water park, opened in 2003 as the park's largest expansion which includes several water slides and attractions.
In 2005, The Gauntlet was added, which is an S&S Power Screamin' Swing complex. For the park's 10th anniversary in 2006, the park announced their intent to add the Shaka Zula River Adventure log flume, relocated from the defunct Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City Beach, Florida. The ride was delayed due to engineering problems, and never opened to the public.
In September 2006, Adventure Parks Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The park operated without interruption during the bankruptcy reorganization.
On September 25, 2007, Wild Adventures was sold because of bankruptcy requirements. Adventure Parks Group LLC, announced that Cypress Gardens Adventure Park in Winter Haven and Wild Adventures park in Valdosta, Ga., will be sold to the highest bidder in a private auction starting Sept. 25. The sale fulfilled requirements resulting from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing by Adventure Parks Group a year ago, but did not mean the end of either theme park. The opening minimum bid for a package purchase of the parks is $53.25 million, Sumner said. The opening minimum bid for Cypress Gardens was $17.4 million and the opening minimum bid for Wild Adventures was $38.85 million. In September 2006, Adventure Parks Group filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors seeking payment for $25 million in debts. Much of the company's financial difficulties can be traced to 2004, when three hurricanes (Hurricane Charley, Hurricane Frances and Hurricane Jeanne) ravaged East Polk County, Florida and left a trail of destruction at Cypress Gardens.
Upon Herschend taking over the park, they had the Gauntlet removed and indicated that they do not plan on opening the Shaka Zula River Adventure log flume ride. However, Herchend did bring in the new ride, The Rattler, the first new ride in three years, which opened March 21, 2008. It is a Huss Frisbee type flat-ride manufactured by Moser Rides of Italy. Also, in 2008, the Tiger Terror rollercoaster was sold and moved to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida and renamed "Tasmanian Tiger".
Before the 2010 season, the largest number of rides have been added and removed. The Gold Rush rollercoaster had been removed. The Mystery Maze had been removed. The Viking Voyage roller coaster had been added along with two new flat rides, Whirling Wildcats and Falcon Flyers. All three rides were from the now defunct Celebration City in Branson, Missouri. In 2010, The Bug Out rollercoaster was renamed "Go Bananas". The S&S Doubleshot was renamed "Firecracker".
Two new rides were added before the 2013 season; Tail Spin and Wacky Wheels.
And in 2015, Jungle Rumble, a flat ride was added.
The park is not currently separated into themes. Past themes included Base Camp, Bugsville, Australian Outback, Alapaha Preserve, The Lagoon, African Pridelands, and Wild West.
|Ant Farm Express||Vekoma||2000||A family-friendly steel coaster.|
|Boomerang||Vekoma||1998||A reverse shuttle coaster that sends you through a Cobra Roll and a Vertical Loop first forward, and then in reverse.|
|Cheetah||CCI Custom Coasters International||2001||A custom, wooden roller coaster with steel supports (except for the figure eight which was rebuilt with wood when the entire coaster was retracked by Great Coasters International in 2010. It is also the largest roller coaster at the park.|
|Go Bananas!||Maurer Söhne||2000||A steel wild mouse roller coaster,formerly known as Bug Out from 2000-2010|
|Swamp Thing||Vekoma||2003||A suspended family roller coaster that travels over the park's swamp as well as the park's 15-foot alligator, Twister|
|Twisted Typhoon||Vekoma||1999||A suspended looping roller coaster that sends riders head-over-heels five times. Formerly known as Hangman from 1999-2011|
|Viking Voyage||E&F Miler Industries||2010||A family steel roller coaster. Formerly known as Jack Rabbit from the now defunct Celebration City|
Aviator: A Chance Aviator
Firecracker: A S&S Double shot tower.
Pharaoh's Fury: A Chance Swinging ship
Rattler: A Moser Frisbee.
Swingin' Safari: A HUSS Himalaya ride.
Tailspin: A Zamperla Disk'o coaster.
Jungle Rumble: Opened 2015 Season.
Adventure Carousel: A Merry Go Round
Century Wheel: A Ferris Wheel
Falcon Flyer: A Larson Flying Scooter ride, originally installed at Celebration City.
Kite Flyer: A Lie-Down Flat Ride.
Monkey Around: A Tilt-A-Whirl ride.
Sidewinder: A Chance Trabant.
Smash Attack: Bumper cars
Whirling Wildcats: An Eli Bridge Scrambler
Yo-Yo: A Chance Yo-Yo
Jungle Rumble.: A trill family ride that takes you around and around.
Splash Island water park
Splash Island is a Polynesian themed water park and is free with admission into Wild Adventures. It takes up 27 acres (110,000 m2) of the 166-acre (670,000 m2) park with 7 rides, and 5 shops. It is frequently the most crowded area of the park. Splash Island first opened in 2003 being Wild Adventures largest expansion since rides were introduced in 1999.
When Splash Island was opened it had no theming and looked more like a community pool center. In 2008, Wild Adventures announced that Splash Island would undergo a $4 million renovation turning the park into a Polynesian themed paradise. Wild Adventures also announced their intent to build a new ride, the Wahee Cyclone.
- Bonzai Pipelines
- 3 Inter-twined slides featuring the tallest slides in Georgia built in 2004
- Catch-a-wave bay
- A large 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) wave pool built in 2003
- Hakini Rapids
- A 5-Story "Family Sized" water slide with unexpected turns and drops built in 2011
- Kalani Blasters
- 2 Medium sized inter-twined slides built in 2003
- Kona Cliffs
- A giant, "Family Sized" speed slide with three drops built in 2011
- Paradise River
- A relaxing "lazy river" through the water park built in 2003
- Polynesian Adventure
- A giant 4 story water fortress built in 2003
- Wahee Cyclone
- A large 5 story water tornado built in 2009
- Sea Turtle Cove
- A small water play area for younger children built in 2006
- Boy Scouts Day
- Girl Scouts Day
- Terror In The Wild - Halloween themed event with several attractions.
- Wild Adventures Christmas - Christmas themed event.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wild Adventures.|